Borders and Margins. Federalism, Devolution and Multi-Level Governance

With Pablo Oñate


The theory and concept of multi-level governance (MLG) is a fairly recent one, emerging from the deepening integration of the European Union in the early 1990s and the development of free trade agreements around the world. MLG enlarges the traditional approaches, namely those of neo-institutionalism and multinational federalism, by offering a better understanding of the role of the state, regions and provinces. The book analyses the changes that have taken place as well as those that might take place in the future.

The concept of multilevel governance has been more in use in the recent literature because of its non-normative aspect but also because there are more actors involved in this process that goes beyond traditional central-regional-local government relationships. There is a growing interest in the academic literature on federalism in multilevel-multinational analyses and this book wants to enlarge the discussion on this issue. The academic literature has largely ignored how central states have become in a way a world in which more actors are playing a decisive role both internally and internationally.  This are also a number of the federalist scholars who try to refine the role of the state in international affairs by bringing in such concept as neo-institutionalism. To the contrary some authors have preferred to use the concept of multinational governance in many countries where  federalist views are in the process of being redefined. This is the case in most federal or quasi-federal states such as Australia, Japan, India, Canada, USA and all European countries – more specifically Spain, UK, and Germany.  Therefore, his book is rooted in a policy approach and one key scholarly element of this book is to fill the gap between policies-politics.

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